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CO-LABS & Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Honor Groundbreaking Scientists and Their Research

Annual Event Celebrates Colorado’s Top Scientists and Engineers
for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society

2016 CO-LABS Governor's Award for High-Impact Research

Denver, CO – DENVER, CO – From the furthest reaches of space to the smallest quantum particles to measurements of atmospheric gases and assessment of human B cell antibodies – world-class research projects in these fields of study were celebrated at the CO-LABS 2016 Governor's Award for High-Impact Research event on October 6, 2016. Governor John Hickenlooper remarked about the profound “culture of discovery” within Colorado’s federal research labs and universities to the nearly 200 supporters of science gathered in the Ricketson Auditorium at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

In its eighth year, the event gathers scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials with highlight videos, keynote speakers and a reception including the Museum’s compelling Space Odyssey exhibit. The event is supported by numerous sponsors, foremost being the Presenting Sponsor The Alliance for Sustainable Energy.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

“What I love about CO-LABS is you have an ecosystem of scientists working on a vast array of difficult and perplexing problems, and yet they talk to each other, they work with each other, they inspire each other. I take great pride that we are in the foundational position to address so many societal challenges,” said the Governor. “On behalf of the entire state of Colorado want to extend congratulations and appreciation for all that all of you do, especially the winners.” (See 20+ testimonials from our attendees)

Peter Green, Deputy Lab Director for Science and Technology at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory also gave remarks about the crucial nature of scientific research and the benefits of nurturing collaborations between the federal labs, higher education and the private sector. 

From a competitive process this past summer among more than a dozen labs, four winners in extraordinary research were selected in the areas of Earth Systems and Space Sciences, Foundational Science and Technology, Public Health and Life Sciences, and Sustainability.

"CO-LABS is a unique organization with a crucial mission - to advance the national and international competitiveness of Colorado. It does this through coordinated education and collaboration efforts between the state's federally funded research centers, state universities, local governments and a closely interconnected business community,” said Mr. Green. “This role is vital because the Colorado labs have a huge economic, civic, and scientific impact on the state. Colorado residents and workers are among the many beneficiaries of research conducted at these institutions.  So too are the many companies that locate in Colorado to be near federal and academic research centers."

This year's winners are:

• Earth Systems and Space Sciences:
LASP Director Dr. Daniel Baker Leads Research on Critical Space Weather Forecasting Missions (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics) DETAILS
• Foundational Science and Technology:
The JILA Quantum Machine Team: Extending Mastery of Quantum Mechanics from Microscopic Particles to Human-Made Machines (JILA is a joint institute between CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology) DETAILS
• Public Health and Life Sciences:
Innovative Diagnostic Response to Public Health Emergencies - Zika and Yellow Fever Epidemics (Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases) DETAILS
• Sustainability:
Preparing and Maintaining Critical Greenhouse Gas Calibration Standards and Methods Used in the Worldwide Monitoring of these Critical Atmospheric Gases (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth Systems Research Laboratory) DETAILS

• Honorable Mention:
NREL's Battery Internal Short-Circuit (ISC) Device: A Breakthrough in Battery Safety (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) DETAILS

“Researchers in Colorado’s federal laboratories continue to lead the nation with valuable study that addresses some of today’s most pressing problems,” said Scott Sternberg, chair of CO-LABS. “Our annual ceremony does more than just recognize new discoveries, it also celebrates the impact research and science have on our state.”

"We are thrilled to have the Governor's recognition of the Quantum Machine Team as a preeminent example of the partnership between University of Colorado and Federal government scientists that serves to maintain Colorado's leading role in emerging science and technology innovation,” said JILA Chair Dr. Dana Z. Anderson: “Building on more than 50 years of Colorado-Federal joint research and training, JILA is proud to witness quantum technology having a rapidly growing impact on the economy of Colorado and the nation."

“I am honored on behalf of all the great people at LASP doing space research to accept this recognition from CO-LABS and Governor Hickenlooper,” said Dr. Daniel Baker, Director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. We appreciate the acknowledgement of the efforts we are making at the University of Colorado to address space weather issues. It is gratifying to study themes that are both fascinating from a basic scientific point of view and also highly relevant for societal needs.”

“Every day CDC staff are committed to protecting the American public and people worldwide from disease,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The Division of Vector-Borne Diseases is proud to be a part of the Colorado research community. It is especially gratifying that the dedication and innovation of our talented staff are being recognized by this honor.”

New this year: CO-LABS partnered with the Colorado State Science Fair and the top-level sponsors provided free tickets to several of the Fair’s 1st-Place student winners and their parents. “We are excited to be building connections between today's discoveries and the up-and-coming generation of new scientists,” said CO-LABS Executive Director Dan Powers.

“Colorado has one of the highest per capita concentrations of federal science, research and engineering facilities in the nation, with renowned scientists whose research has global impact in a range of fields including agriculture, climate and weather, earth science, materials science, natural resource management, renewable energy, space physics and telecommunications,” said Dan Powers. “This prestigious event provides a unique opportunity to connect with leading scientists, lab directors, business leaders and policymakers in an informal and celebratory setting, as we highlight the labs’ role in innovation and their significant contribution to the state economy.”

See more details and video from the event